Day Two: All Day Rain

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Autumn is harvest season in Ontario. Yesterday we shopped for Kamut flour, and found Bob’s Mill Kamut flour at the grocery store, very, very, very expensive. But I want to try it to make sure I like bread made with it, before we buy any in bulk. While wandering the store, Attila spied bushels of sweet red peppers from Ontario, for $9.99 each. We had to have one of course. Then we had to preserve the peppers, of course, a bushel of peppers won’t keep fresh long enough for us to eat them all. What to do?

Last night Attila chopped onions, fresh garlic, celery, and red peppers. In a big heavy bottomed stock pot I set to work making Tomato Red Pepper Sauce, it took until bed time to get it boiled down to the correct consistency, so I left it overnight on the range and returned to the project this morning. A dozen 500 ml mason jars and lids were sterilized in boiling water, then filled with the sauce which had been boiled again this morning. We will freeze this dozen jars of Tomato Pepper Sauce, for use on homemade pizza and spaghetti dinners. We have enough peppers to make two more batches of sauce, which will yield three dozen jars of frozen Tomato Pepper Sauce. We will enjoy some lovely quick meals this winter!

When I purchased the new MacBook Air, there was an offer with the purchase for an HP printer for $19.99. I could not resist and bought the printer. I haven’t been all that happy with the Epson printer I bought a few years ago, it was difficult to configure and some of the features just will not work, like scanning via WiFi. I gave up fiddling with it, and when I need to scan I attach a small zip drive into the printer and scan files onto that, then move them from the zip drive onto my computer. This is painful at times. The new HP printer is being setup this morning and the setup is extremely easy. Time will tell if the printer works as well and the setup was simple. I have a lot of scanning to do over the next few days, so I hope it works well!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Knowing that today would be an all-day-rain kind of day, we enjoyed a camp fire last night, the sky slowly clouding over as the stars began to wink from the heavens. With the bulk of the dead wood burned, our camp fires have become small affairs, burning gathered twigs and split cedar logs. The cedar, which last summer would not burn as each log was pulled from the pile of logs, dead trees and earth, has now dried sufficiently, in its neatly stacked rows, to burn well and relatively quickly.

We retired to Grace The Trailer early, to watch a youtube video on the computer, which was charging with electricity provided by the generator. The computer is new, a bottom of the line MacBook Air that was on sale, saving about $500 on the purchase. The purchase was reserved online, and the trip to the city was made Friday evening to pick it up, so that it could be used during our vacation. The only problem with my 2012 MacBook Air was that the battery had died completely, necessitating that the power cord be continuously connected. If the power cord became disconnected, the computer instantly died, which caused all sorts of issues that had to be addressed to get it up and going again. The cost quoted for a battery replacement was $350, with no guarantee that something else might go wrong with the aging technology. Upgrading to a 2017 model was an extra $649, clearly a better investment, which will take us through another four to six years of reliable service. It is now possible to write journal entries on the laptop while we are staying at the Rideau Camp, because it will run on the battery, which can be recharged with the new portable generator. We are getting dangerously close to glamping here, dangerously close.

Friday night was very cold, with a possibility that the temperature would dip down close to 0C. We slept at Mist Cottage on Friday night. But Saturday night was much warmer, and although we do not have a thermometer, we think it might only have dipped to 12-15C, which is lovely for sleeping.

The weather report last week warned that today would be cold and rainy. In accordance, plans have been made to visit the Middleville Museum. The museum is in a little village close to where my GGGG Grandparents took a land grant when they came here from Scotland in 1820. It will be interesting to see if there is any archival material that will help me in my research. My Grandpa told me he visited the area at the beginning of World War One, and was given a very cold reception by the family, his mother’s cousins, and possibly his father’s as well. I have wondered if this had to do with property rights and inheritance, or if it had to do with the possibility that GGG Grandpa might have been a bigamist, with a wife and family of twelve children in Parry Sound, and a wife, affluence, and property in Lanark County, it had to do with both. The bigamist theory is very unpopular with my male relatives, the females have very little trouble considering it as a possibility. There is insufficient data to either prove or disprove the theory. I am quite fond of my ancestors, regardless of their possible failings and troubles, they were brave, the line from Middleville were hard working people who hacked a living out of inhospitable bush, no small task, particularly since they were born and bred in the city of Glasgow, with no rural skills at all when they arrived on their land grants in Upper Canada.

Worldly Distractions


It is 9 a.m. and raining hard. The sky is a solid sheet of grey cloud, the forest is dripping continuously. We expect this to continue until tomorrow morning.


“The easiest kind of relationship for me is with ten thousand people. The hardest is with one.”
Joan Baez
1941 –

Sort of explains why people seem to prefer their cell phones and social media to actually talking to one another face-to-face.


It was almost two weeks ago when it suddenly hit Attila that the house was not likely to sell this year, and that we would need a lot more firewood than we have in the woodshed, to get through the winter. Not a good feeling.

I decided that a lone visit to the little house in the city was in order, to free up Attila’s evenings for the firewood project. When I am home Attila likes to spend his time with me, so he had been postponing the huge firewood project in hopes that the house would sell. The added bonus for Attila is that a period of time opens up, when he has no one to please but himself, he can work on projects, sleep, and eat, whenever and whatever.

Sunday night I packed my bags for a lengthy visit to the little house. Monday morning we both drove off, Attila to an early work day, and I to my five hour drive to the little house.

My trip was uneventful, which is always a relief. It took me an extra hour though, due to the frequent stops for road construction. When we travel on Saturdays and Sundays the road construction is usually at a halt for the weekend. But on weekdays the work continues, and there are frequent stops to wait in turn, for passage along single lane traffic past construction workers.

By the time I arrived, near noon, the heat of the day had set in. The interior of the house was cool and comfortable, so I left it closed up until Tuesday morning.

After arriving I let Attila know I was safe and sound at the little house, and sent a text to Terra to let her know I was around. She just happened to be in town when I texted, and to my surprise there was a knock on the door, which I opened to see her smiling face. We had a lovely short visit, then she was off to tend to the dogs. She invited me out to her place for a visit, but I had had enough driving for that day!

After unloading the car, I donned my had and headed out to the garden. Things were a bit dry out there, and the plants seemed little changed since our last visit. I found six mature cucumbers to pick. I brought them in, washed them, sliced them, prepared a dip with sour cream and garlic and pepper flakes, then enjoyed my fresh snack.

I puttered in the cool of the house for a while, then ventured forth to the grocery store when the temperature outside began to drop a little. I didn’t need much in the way of groceries, milk, a tomato, cheese, some salami. Those supplies will last me for several days at least. The evening meal consisted of a salami, cheese, and tomato sandwich, with a nice cold glass of water on the side.

Then I called Attila to see how his day had gone. He had come home for lunch, set his alarm clock, and taken a long nap, in anticipation of a late night working on the firewood project.

Over the course of the summer a squirrel had moved into our garden shed at the country house. Apparently it was quite a mess in there! The entry point was eliminated a few weeks ago, with several two by four pieces of wood. But the mess remained. That was the first step in the firewood project, to clean out the garden shed, and store the random items that had ended up in the wood shed over the summer. A mask and disposable gloves were needed, and the debris from the squirrels was burned. Problem number one solved.

When we said goodnight, Attila was heading back outside to split the wood we brought back from the camp, about three hundred pounds of it, enough to keep us warm for three cold winter days.

My first night in a new bed is almost always a difficult night. Monday night was no exception. I slept little, feeling alert at every little noise. What I did not realize was that a storm had moved in, and the noises were related to the gusty winds, that moved the chairs around on the veranda at the back. Then the power began to go off and on, which affected the lighting in the yard across the street, so that the lights would suddenly switch off. That is enough to keep me from falling asleep. When Attila is here with me, I notice none of these things. Within a few nights I will be familiar with all the little noises and creeks, and will sleep soundly again.

When I arose Tuesday morning, feeling far from refreshed, the world was a stormy place. My first priority was to give Attila a call. I could not use Skype, because the internet connection depends on electricity, and the power was still out. So I used the cell phone to call him, which made for a brief conversation. A few hours later the power supply was restored, so a more satisfactory chat with Attila took place in the evening.

Tuesday morning the much needed rain misted down, at times pelted down, and the wind gusted, bringing down a fair number of green leaves from the trees in the yard. No wonder the verandah furniture was moving around on Monday night! I opened the windows to the lovely brisk morning wind, allowing it to sweep the stale air out of the house, leaving it fresh, vibrant, and a little bit cooler inside.

After breakfast it was time to take stock of what needed doing on this visit. Time for a list! Lists work for me, as my visual memory is strong.

Tuesday ended up being the “take the car to the garage” day. There is no convenient place to take the car in for an oil change near our country house. There are multiple options for service near the little house in the city, so I called in the morning, made an appointment for later in the the day, and was home again by mid-afternoon. The way I looked at it, waiting at a garage is as good an activity as any on a rainy, stormy day.

Here it is, Wednesday morning already. I have eaten my bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, and am now sitting happily in the living room, coffee in hand, looking out at the blue sky and relishing the morning sun.

I have been reading this morning, three articles written by my Uncle the geological engineer, who is also a Prospector. The articles arrived this morning by email, sent by Cathy the Genealogist from Kirkland Lake. My Uncle is an accomplished writer, the stories of his youth are interesting, and the information completely new to me! I first met my uncle when he married my Mom’s sister, my sister and I were Flower Girls at their wedding.

I called Attila early on, at 5:30 a.m., to see how his morning is faring. He seems relieved to have the opportunity to catch up with the firewood, and putter about with the myriad of other tasks that arise when maintaining a house and property in the bush.

What will I do today? Something from the list I suppose, unless a surprising opportunity presents itself!

A few more images from our five day excursion to Kirkland Lake.

Walking along the shores of Lake Timiskaming.
“Canadian Business magazine listed Peter Grant as one of the top 100 richest Canadians in 2004, then at the peak of his wealth, estimated at $381 million. With an eerie prescience it wrote: “But watch out, Peter: the darling is already starting to slide.” Source: Temagami News And slide it did. We thought this building was a new hospital, or huge government building. Wrong. It is the abandoned lakefront mansion of the Grant dynasty, lost to bankruptcy before completion, so we were told by local people. Many a labourer and his family lived on meager wages, to provide the profits for this empty monument. But for the plight of those unsung families, who gave so much to amass this fortune, I would experience Schadenfreude. Too much sacrifice here though, by the men and women behind the success, for me to garner any pleasure from the sight. From what I gather the new corporate owners of the mills are not an improvement for the area.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 AM EDT Wednesday 13 August 2014
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.6 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 19.7°C
Dewpoint: 19.1°C
Humidity: 96%
Wind: S 27 km/h


“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Yogi Berra (1925 – )